Johannesburg – The grandson of one of the icons of South Africa’s liberation Struggle appeared calm and composed during his brief court appearance on charges of rape and attempted rape.
The accused, whose name cannot be revealed until he pleads to the charges of rape and sexual assault, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The name of the icon is also withheld in compliance with the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act of 2007.
On Monday, prosecutor Thando Hopa told the court that the alleged victim was a 15-year-old minor, while the accused was aged 24. Hopa did not give details of the offences allegedly committed by the accused.
Gauteng police informed the media that the complainant had told them that the incident took place on August 7 in Greenside, Joburg.
“At this stage, the matter has been taken for judicial determination, and the National Prosecuting Authority will comment further. The investigation by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit continues,” Brigadier Mashadi Selepe said.
It was, however, reported in Sunday and daily newspapers that the alleged rape occurred at a popular restaurant in Greenside.
The reports claim the victim was with some friends at the restaurant and that the alleged rape reportedly took place in a toilet on the premises.
Serious allegations were also made against the matriarch of the family.
In the reports, the alleged victim’s family accused the matriarch – who also cannot be named at this stage – of trying to interfere in the matter.
The family claimed that the matriarch sent her bodyguard to the victim’s family.
The bodyguard, who, according to the media reports, claimed to be a cop, told the father that there was no need to arrest the suspect, “but when the father asked to see his badge, he didn’t have one”.
The matriarch was not immediately available for comment, but her personal assistant indicated that she might respond on Tuesday.
In court on Monday, the defence advocate, Nico Swart, did not indicate what plea explanation his client would submit in court when he applies for bail on Friday.
The accused has been charged with a schedule six offence, where the onus is on him to give detailed reasons why he should be released on bail.
However, if the accused claims the sex was consensual, he is also likely to be prosecuted on an alternative count of statutory rape.
In terms of the Sexual Offence Act, sex with a child under the age of 16 is a criminal act.
Swart made an attempt to ensure his client was kept at Parkview police station’s holding cells until Friday, but magistrate Simon Radasi rejected this bid.
Radasi said he could make such a decision only if the station commander or the head of the detectives attached a document to confirm it.
The case was adjourned for more than an hour to allow the State and the prosecution to secure the document.
But when the case resumed at about 3.20pm, Swart told the court he had failed to secure the required document.
The accused was later transported to Johannesburg Prison along with other awaiting accused.
The accused is likely, if he goes ahead with the bail application, to respond to the allegations against him, including details of the alleged rape.
On Monday, the victim’s father – who also may not be named in order to protect the identity of his minor child – expressed satisfaction at the court’s decision to remand the accused.
“He deserved it,” he said.
For most of the short proceedings, the accused appeared calm, maintaining eye contact with the magistrate.
When asked how old he was, he quickly replied “24”.
Outside the court, one of the accused’s family members tried to prevent photographers from taking pictures of the relatives who came to support the young man.